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Daily Devotion, Daily Wisdom

Discussion in 'Christian Fellowship' started by baddison, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    January 27, 2016

    Devotional:

    But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And [fn]may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. Psalm 5:11 (NASB)

    The last several years have not been easy for believers. Persecution around the world is at an all time high. In the United States, mass murderers specifically targeted those who believed in God. Though executed for their faith, their witness to the LORD has been as inspiring. We have many choices when faced with such reality. Shock probably should not be among them. This is an old horror, going back to the earliest days of the Christian community. It actually originated long before the days of Jesus, when our Jewish heroes were persecuted for two simple reasons: they believed in the One true God and they were Jewish. I believe it's time that we start praying this ancient prayer from today's Scripture in Psalm 5 again. When we pray it, let's remember that no matter what others may do to us, they cannot separate us from God and the deliverance he holds for us in his future.

    Prayer:
    Almighty God, please bless our world with a season of peace. Bless us with a respite from the horrors Satan has afflicted on your children through the hatred of men. Give us the courage, in peace or in persecution, to be open about our faith, generous with our forgiveness, and steadfast in our hope. Finally, Father, please bless those whose loved ones were martyred because of their faith in you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; Hebrews 10:23 (NASB)
     
  2. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    January 28, 2016

    Devotional:

    For Christ also died for sins once for all, thejust for theunjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the [fn]spirit; 1 Peter 3:18 (NASB)


    It sounds so simple and straightforward, doesn't it? Kinda like the newspaper headline about someone dying we don't know. Just cold, hard facts! But we know differently. Underneath this statement of grace lies the broken heart of God, the sacrifice of heaven, the brutality of supposedly religious men, and the searching love of our God who would not abandon us to the cruel "Deathmaster." For those who knew animal sacrifice, with its high personal cost and animal sacrifices, this verse is more than a headline: it is a "graceline." Once for all — no more sacrifices needed. Bring you to God — no more distance, no intermediaries between God and us. Jesus is heaven's open door and God's open heart saying, "Come home; we've been waiting for you."

    Prayer:
    What words, O gracious Father, can I use to express my appreciation for your sacrifice and grace? I have none sufficient to say what I feel. But even in this realization, I know the gift of your Spirit ensures that you hear my words and my heart. Every good and lasting thing I have comes from your grace. Please receive my undying love and my heartfelt praise for all you are, for all you have done, and for all that you will be. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    a renewalin which there is no distinction betweenGreek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, [fn]barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all Colossians 3:11 (NASB)
     
  3. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    January 29, 2016

    Devotional:

    and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and [fn]full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of [fn]your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NASB)

    Can you trust what you don't see? Of course! What kind of question is that? Our lives depend on what we cannot see — things like gravity and the air we breathe, just to name two. Faith in Jesus is as natural as faith in each of those things. The problem is that our hearts are skeptical. We find it hard to believe that anyone divine would love us so much. Our experience says, "If it seems too good to be true, it is." That skepticism is just the twisted form of the response God longs to see from us: "inexpressible and glorious joy." I don't know about you, but I've tasted both. I prefer joy over skepticism!

    Prayer:
    What joy fills my heart, Father, when I anticipate what it will be like to be in your presence — to have you wipe each tear from my eyes and to have you introduce me again to those I love and to those I've only known by reputation. Please never let me outlive that sense of anticipation and never let that hope dim in my heart, no matter what else may happen in my life here. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14 (NASB)
     
  4. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    January 30, 2016

    Devotional:

    [fn]For He rescued us from the [fn]domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of [fn]His beloved Son,Colossians 1:13 (NASB)

    People from all over the world and from many different nationalities read Today's Verse. While our national origins and ethnic heritages are different, we are members of one Kingdom. Our allegiance transcends race, culture, language, and nation. Why? Because we've been rescued from the dominion that holds sway over race, culture, language, and nation. That dominion divides us and makes us suspicious of each other, leading to hatred and warfare. We've been given a more glorious Kingdom! We've been made into a more glorious and colorful race! We are God's children and part of the Kingdom of the Son he loves.

    Prayer:
    Use us, O Father, to break down the barriers that separate peoples on the basis of temporary externals. Make us into a Kingdom of character, hope, and love. Cast all darkness out of our hearts. Shine the light of your grace through us to our world so people can see us a healing for the nations. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only true Savior of all peoples, I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted [fn]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [fn]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. James 1:13-14 (NASB)
     
  5. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 1, 2016

    Devotional:

    Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.1 Corinthians 6:11 (NASB)

    Following a list of vices, both scandalous and common, Paul finishes with this incredible word of grace. We all have a tendency to live in the land of "I-used-to-be." For some of us, our past accomplishments become our excuse to live in the arrogant afterglow of yesterday. Paul wrote Philippians 3:4b-9 for this group. For others of us, the wounds and sins of our past become the bag of rocks we drag with us through the rest of life. We take those "rancid rocks" out and inspect them once again to our misery. We use them as proof of why we can't move on with our lives. What a glorious awakening Paul gives us in this passage. In Christ, there are no more bags and no more rocks. We're clean! We're made holy! We're declared innocent of any wrongdoing. How? Why? Who? The sacrifice and triumph of Jesus and the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.

    Prayer:
    Forgive me, Father, for lingering on yesterdays, ruining my todays, and clouding up my tomorrows. Help me with my tendency to live in the land of "I-used-to-be." Give me the courage to believe that you have put my past in its proper place and want to do a new glorious thing in me today, a glorious and gracious thing that brings you honor and me salvation! In Jesus' name I thank you. Amen.


    Wisdom:

    How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the [fn]path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!. Psalm 1:1 (NASB)
     
  6. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 2, 2016

    Devotional:

    “If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the [fn]command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it wasagainst your fathers.1 Samuel 12:15 (NASB)

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer said more than 50 years ago that grace had become cheapened. I wonder what he would say today? I'm all for grace, but I'm horrified at the cost by which it came. I can't for the life of me understand how we can so often claim to have received it and yet bear no resemblance in character to the one who gave it. God's Word through Samuel is a harsh one. Yet it is one that I believe we must include in our triumphant song of grace. You see, true grace changes us. It will make us gracious and more like the Grace-giver himself. If not, what we call grace is impotent, powerless, and false. Paul called this a form of religion that denied God's true power in us (2 Timothy 3:5). Let's return obedience back to the pantheon of virtues and rescue it from the attic of our religious past.

    Prayer:
    Father, I know that you are disappointed with my sin and yet your grace still flows and covers it. But Father, I NEVER want to presume on that grace. You and I know the deepest struggles of my character and the things I only want to "kinda" give up. Please work your perfection in me through the Holy Spirit, conforming me to be more and more to be like my Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:

    [fn]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [fn]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)
     
  7. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 3, 2016

    Devotional:

    Therefore, having been justified by faith, [fn]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and [fn]we exult in hope of the glory of God.Romans 5:1-2 (NASB)

    Peace is more than the mercurial, vaporous, whimsical wish of folks who just want everyone to get along and things to be calm. The peace the apostle Paul is describing her, peace with God, goes much deeper than simply a desire for calm and for a lack of conflict. Jesus, through his sacrificial obedience to God, has made peace with God real for us. Yes, God provided it by grace. Yes, God is the one who insures it because of that grace. But, because this peace is tied to him and his character, we can rejoice and anticipate being caught up in the glory of our glorious God.

    Prayer:
    O great Majesty on high, I praise you for the gift of your grace in Jesus. Give me confidence and trust so that I may stand, secure and emboldened to live for you, with a life full of hope and joy. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 1 John 2:6 (NASB)
     
  8. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 4, 2016

    Devotional:

    “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?Exodus 15:11 (NASB)

    With whom do you compare the incomparable? How do you grasp the infinite with a finite mind? When the quintessence of majesty is the God you contemplate, how can you ever speak of majesty about anything else? God exhausts our superlatives. God's glory bewilders our imaginations. God's greatness exceeds our wildest dreams. He is beyond what we can know or believe. Yet the Wonder of all his wonders is simply this: he limited himself to a baby, swaddled by loving parents in strips of cloth, and placed in a feed trough because there was no room for them in the inn. Sometimes the greatest of all wonders are not the ones that require our biggest and best words. Sometimes the greatest of all wonders wrap their tiny fingers around our own and capture our hearts.

    Prayer:
    I do not know how to understand your incredible love for us, yes even for me. How could you enter our world in baby Jesus? Like the Magi, I bow and worship you, Lord Jesus, and our Father who sent you. Who is like you, O God? Nobody is even close. Yet for some reason known only to your grace, you have brought us close. I praise you for your majesty and I praise you for your manger. To your glory, precious Jesus, and in your name, I offer this praise. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight. Proverbs 12:22 (NASB)
     
  9. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 5, 2016

    Devotional:

    He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.Psalm 91:4 (NASB)

    Life is filled with many uncertainties. You never know when something unexpected is going to happen. You have no idea when the next disaster will strike. In a world filled with hate and terrorism, none of us has a clue when the next horrible atrocity will take place. So what do we do when we can't be sure of our circumstances? We take shelter under the wing of the One who is above all circumstances! We take assurance in our Father who has promised to bring us to himself no matter what may happen today ... in our world ... and to our bodies. Our lives are hidden with our Father because we've been joined to Christ. He is our Refuge! His wings are our shelter!

    Prayer:
    Father, what words can I offer that are sufficient to thank and praise you for your deliverance that is greater than death? You are the Alpha and the Omega. You are the God who was and is and is to come. You are my Abba Father, who has adopted me and made me your own. I place my trust, my hope, and future in you and I will not be afraid. I find my refuge under your wings! All praise to you in the name of Jesus. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8 (NASB)
     
  10. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 6, 2016

    Devotional:

    for our God is a consuming fire.Hebrews 12:29 (NASB)

    We should worship God with reverence because he is a consuming fire! Mmm. What does that mean? Is the focus on his holiness? Does this warn of judgment? Is this an expression of his purity? Yes, YES, YES! You see, God is holy and pure and righteous. Our imperfections, flaws, failures, and sins stand out glaringly in comparison to his perfection. Yet rather than destroying us with his holy fire. He can make us new and clean and more than what we once were. So not only can we draw near to him because of Jesus, we can stay near him as we live Jesus' life in our world (see Hebrews 13). That, dear friend, is reverential worship at its finest!

    Prayer:
    Righteous and holy God, please forgive me for my sin, my lack of boldness, and my unexercised faith. Thank you for not compromising your holiness, but, instead, sacrificing your Son to perfect and purify me by your grace so I can come before you. As I live this week, may your holiness be exalted by my conduct and reflected in my character. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Let the word of [fn]Christ richly dwell within you, [fn]with all wisdom teaching and admonishing [fn]one another with psalms andhymns and spiritual songs, singing [fn]with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 (NASB)
     
  11. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 8, 2016

    Devotional:

    Worship the LORD in [fn]holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.Psalm 96:9 (NASB)

    Don't you really appreciate the phrase "the splendor of his holiness" and long to behold that splendor? It conjures up reminders of Isiah’s encounter with God in Isaiah 6 or John's vision of Jesus in Revelation 1. God's essence — known in the Old Testament as his glory and his holiness — can be described only as splendorous! Our only fitting response is to join the angels of Isaiah 6 and the twenty-four elders around the throne in Revelation and worship God and cry, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory."

    Prayer:
    You are holy, majestic God, more than my mind can grasp or my imagination can dream. I worship and praise you for your glory, might, grace, and mercy. I hunger for the day when I can see your splendor face to face and join the angels of heaven and the twenty-four elders in never ending worship and praise. Through Jesus I offer this praise and my life. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit! Psalm 32:2 (NASB)
     
  12. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 9, 2016

    Devotional:

    “I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.”’Ezekiel 38:23 (NASB)

    In a time when God's people were in shambles physically and spiritually, he promises judgment — judgment on them and their oppressors. But he also reveals why. He will show his greatness and holiness so they will know him, YAHWEH — God of "his people" and also of all nations. I would love for God to show his greatness and holiness in our day; wouldn't you? To have God honored for who he is and what he has done would be marvelous. May that day come quickly.

    Prayer:
    Father, as your flawed and mortal child, I do fear your bold revelation of yourself. We humans are mortal and frail in comparison to your blazing glory. But I have confidence in my relationship with you through Jesus, and dear Father, I want you honored and your name revered in my day. I am tired of hearing your name used in vain and your glory profaned. Exalt yourself before the nations! Reveal your holy majesty so that everyone will know that you are the only true and living God! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes or‘No, no’; anything beyond these is [fn]of evil. Matthew 5:37 (NASB)
     
  13. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 10, 2016

    Devotional:

    Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer, [fn]Seek out his wickedness until You find none.Psalm 10:15 (NASB)

    It is hard not to get discouraged when evil and wicked people get away with what is reprehensible. Christians on every continent have things that greatly trouble them about the evil perpetrated in their corner of the world as corrupt power abuses those who belong to God's people. Let's join together, believers from all around the world, and ask God to intervene in a clear, decisive way, and bring these days of violence and wickedness to an end!

    Prayer:
    Holy and righteous Father, please break the power of wickedness that reigns in our world and bring it to an end. Make it clear that the fall of evil's power is at the hand of the Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus, destroy every power that stands between God and us, and bring to a glorious beginning the eternal reign of your Kingdom. To your glory, Lord Jesus, and in your name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:

    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 (NASB)
     
  14. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 11, 2016

    Devotional:

    Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.Romans 6:11(NASB)

    In baptism, we are united with Christ in his death (see Romans 6:1-14 for the background of this devotional meditation). Our old sinful selves are crucified with Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin. We are alive in Christ — the one whom sin could not master and death could not conquer. His life is now our life. His victory is our victory. His future is our future. Let's set our hearts to live based upon this certainty!

    Prayer:
    Gracious Father, I find it incredible that you put all my past sin in the grave of your crucified Son and have raised me up to new life in him. Inspire me to find meaning, joy, and victory in Jesus. Strengthen me with your Spirit and conform me more perfectly to my Lord. Please empower me to live fully trusting that all of my sin is dead, buried and gone. Please give me the confidence that my new life is bound up with Jesus and his future. Jesus, I thank you for this hope and offer this praise in your name. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, Ephesians 4:1(NASB)
     
  15. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 12, 2016

    Devotional:

    A man oftoo manyfriends comesto [fn]ruin, But there is a [fn]friend who sticks closer than a brother.Proverbs 18:24 (NASB)

    Who are your closest friends? Good friends are hard to come by in a world of superficial acquaintances and shallow relationships. "Hanging with the crowd" can give us a false sense of belonging, but often leaves us wounded and alone in times of trouble. Open, honest, supportive, and loving relationships don't happen without investment. Ask the Lord to lead you to close friends in his family. Minister to and serve those around you. Listen to their requests, faithfully upholding them in prayer. Spend time in Christian service with other servant believers. Join yourself to a Bible study or accountability group. As you do, trust that God will give you that "stick-through-thick-and-thin-friend." Companions are easy to find, but can be unreliable. Development of Christian friends is an investment of effort and time, but they are friends with whom we will share forever.

    Prayer:
    Precious God, I thank you for my friends (include the names of friends). Please, dear Father, lead me into the life of someone this week who needs me to be his or her friend. Bless all those who read Today's Verse with a Christian friend that will help them in their walk with you. Thank you so much, dear Father, for my greatest friend, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of ourGod and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress andto keep oneself unstained [fn]by the world. James 1:27 (NASB)
     
  16. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 13, 2016

    Devotional:

    And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”Mark 9:23 (NASB)

    Jesus is the ultimate one "who believes." All things ARE possible for him. Guess what? He longs to do great things through us, too! In fact, he promised he would do even greater things through us than he did himself because he is now at the Father's side helping us! (See John 14:12-14.) So isn't it time that we quit talking about what we can't do, and start believing in the one who can do great things? Paul put it this way: God can do "more than we can ask or imagine by his power at work in us." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

    Prayer:
    Great Almighty God, Ruler of the nations, Creator of the universe, and Lord of all things, please forgive me. Forgive me for my wimpy and limited prayers. Forgive me for getting involved in petty quarrels over mundane and irrelevant things. Forgive me for my spiritual lack of vision. Please stir me by your Spirit. Please open my eyes so that I can see what you long to do through me. Please empower me to be a powerful witness to our world trapped in darkness. Please give me incredible dreams for your Kingdom, then astound me by doing far more than I ever imagined. In the name of Jesus, and to your glory, I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Better is a [fn]dish of [fn]vegetables where love is Than a fattened ox servedwith hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (NASB)
     
  17. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 15, 2016

    Devotional:

    “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink [fn]because of your name as followersof Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.Mark 9:41 (NASB)

    This simple and clear passage cuts two ways: First, we are blessed when we bless God's children, even if the blessing is simple. Second, we can rejoice when others do the simplest things to bless us in Jesus' name, because we receive the kindness and grace of others and because God blesses that kindness with his overwhelming grace. Bottom line — let's live to be a blessing! When we do, God is blessed. We are blessed. We bless others. In addition, when others are gracious to us, God has also promised to bless them. God pours his blessings out on all of us. In God's miraculous economy, the more we bless each other, the more blessings there are for everyone!

    Prayer:
    Gracious and loving Father, please use me this week to be a blessing to everyone around me. But this week, dear Father, please lead me into the life of someone who desperately needs your grace. Please give me discernment to see them when you bring them across my path. Give me courage to reach out and bless them. Keep them on my heart and help me as I seek to be a long-term blessing to them. In Jesus' name I ask for your help and grace to use this opportunity for your glory. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, andthose who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3 (NASB)
     
  18. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 16, 2016

    Devotional:

    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,1 Timothy 1:12(NASB)

    We minister by grace. We are saved and made holy by God's grace given us in Jesus. We are declared holy and blameless before God because of the grace of Jesus. We are given a gift to use in ministry for the Church because of the grace of Jesus. We are given strength from the Holy Spirit to persevere during difficult times because of the grace of God in Jesus. So what ministry we find ourselves capable of performing, what opportunities we have to serve and make a difference in people's lives, and what power we have in fulfilling our ministry are all given to us. It is not something to boast about. The Lord's power is made perfect in weakness as we offer ourselves to him to be used for his glory.

    Prayer:
    Glorify your name, O God my Eternal Father. Thank you for Jesus who has redeemed me, gifted me, strengthened me, led me, and empowered me to serve. May you be glorified in all that I say and do. In Jesus' name. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12(NASB)
     
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  19. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 17, 2016

    Devotional:

    “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the [fn]orphan, the [fn]stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’Zechariah 7:9-10 (NASB)

    Do you want a clear, simple, straightforward word from the Lord today? That's what Zechariah gives us. He reminds us that God wants us to be fair, compassionate, caring, without prejudice, and tenderhearted to those in need, and to give each other the benefit of the doubt. In other words, he wants us to treat each other like Christ treated people. Why? Because we can't be right with God and be wrong with people!

    Prayer:
    Loving Father, please forgive me for the times I've gotten bogged down with hard-to-understand verses in Scripture and ignored your clear teaching on how to live. Please give me the opportunity this week to live like you have commanded me. In the future, when my heart grows cold or my response to others is not what it should be, please use your Spirit to bring to my remembrance this passage so that I might live it to your glory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:

    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and [fn]its works will be [fn]burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 2 Peter 3:10-12 (NASB)
     
  20. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 18, 2016

    Devotional:

    but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.1 John 2:5-6(NASB)

    Do you want to know who walks with Jesus each day? Look for folks whose lives look like his! Do you want to walk with Jesus? Look at his life in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). See how he treated people; then do the same! Notice how he defeated Satan and overcame temptation. Trust that you can do the same! As you do these things, you will find that Jesus is not only walking with you, he is also working through you!

    Prayer:
    Stir my spirit, O God, and empower me with your Spirit to live a life of integrity and purity like Jesus. Please give me a heart for people, dear Father, like your Son Jesus has. Help me to not only see their needs and hear their cries, but to also respond with love and compassion. In the name of my Savior Jesus, I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said!Amos 5:14(NASB)
     
  21. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 19, 2016

    Devotional:

    Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever [fn]is intoxicated by it is not wise.Proverbs 20:1(NASB)

    Rather than spending millions on ad campaigns filled with bright lights, leggy blondes, fast cars, and handsome young studs like the alcohol industry does, God plainly states the truth: We are unwise to be in bondage to anything that makes us look foolish, that destructively incites our passions, and that open us up to temptation. If your experience with alcohol has led to any of these, please seek the help of a strong Christian friend who can help you find freedom. If you are not in bondage to these, please keep those who have been hurt by alcohol and drug abuse in your prayers and fellowship.

    Prayer:
    Father, my heart hurts today for every person, and every family, under the grip of Satan because of alcohol and drug abuse. Please bless those who are terrorized by a loved one in addiction's grip. Please give them the strength to seek help and not remain alone and silent. Please awaken their loved one to the truth of his/her destructive lifestyle. Please prepare the people who can help them begin the road to recovery, health, and freedom that you so long to give them. Please use us, your Church, as a place of healing and hope for those whose lives are caught in this tragic trap. In Jesus' name I pray for your mighty help and power. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    For it is better, if [fn]God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 1 Peter 3:17(NASB)
     
  22. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 20, 2016

    Devotional:

    things which are a mereshadow of what is to come; but the [fn]substance [fn]belongs to Christ.Colossians 2:17(NASB)

    Crucifixion was so hideous, so inhumane and vile, that the word "crucify" was not considered appropriate in polite speech in Greek culture. Crucifixion was reserved for the scum of society who were considered a threat to the government. Jesus endured this hideous death. But what Satan had intended for the humiliation of God, Jesus turned into the humiliation of Satan and his evil angels. He made a public spectacle of them. He turned their torture stick of shame into an altar of glory. He transformed the gory fury of hell into a sacrifice of forgiveness. He redirected evil's power to kill and made it a place to heal. While we deplore the unspeakable sacrifice and shame that Jesus bore on the cross for us, we also rejoice that the evil one and his hoards of hate are broken. Their apparent victory is turned into their defeat. What was supposed to be God's greatest shame becomes his greatest grace, which ransoms us from Satan's grasp.

    Prayer:
    No words, holy and righteous Father, can ever express my appreciation for your plan, your sacrifice, and your salvation. No song of praise, no heartfelt poem, no letter of love can ever express the thanks I have, dear Jesus, for your loving and powerful sacrifice. Thank you for saving me from sin, death, and a life without meaning. To you, dear Father, and to you, Lord Jesus, I offer my life as my gift of thanks and praise. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and[fn]without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5(NASB)
     
  23. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 22, 2016

    Devotional:

    “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’Malachi 3:7(NASB)

    In times of horror and disaster, people routinely ask, "Where is God in all of this?" Yet we so often leave God at the periphery of our lives and look for him only when we are desperate and have no other options. When things are going well, we seldom say, "Where is God in all of this? Why, he's right here blessing us! Let's praise him for his goodness!" God pleads with us to turn to him and seek after him, in good times and in bad. Not only will we find him; he will return to us and walk with us.

    Prayer:
    O God, please forgive us for seeking our own way. We confess that we have wandered from your ways. Even while the Bible is so readily available to us, we often squander the opportunity to hear you speak from the Word. Even when we have so many opportunities to praise you and pray to you, you sometimes only hear from us when we have gotten ourselves into insurmountable problems. Father, I confess that I have let my relationship with you slip and that I have not pursued your presence in my life as much as I could. Please be with me and all your Church as we seek you and your presence daily in our lives! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way. Proverbs 23:19(NASB)
     
  24. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 23, 2016

    Devotional:

    Woe to those who deeply hide their [fn]plans from the LORD. And whose deeds aredonein a dark place, And they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”Isaiah 29:15(NASB)

    Aren't we so very silly sometimes! We try to hide what we've done and what we're planning from the Lord. Of course we're only fooling ourselves. At first glance, God's knowing our plans and seeing our actions is threatening. But after a little time to think it through, isn't it nice that God does see everything, including our motives and thoughts? This insures justice will be done and our mess-ups will be evaluated in terms of our intentions, not just our failures! On top of that, it also means that those who plot to do us harm will have to answer to God, and we don't have to worry about "settling the score" or "getting even."

    Prayer:
    Forgive me, Father, when I've tried to hide my plans and thoughts from you. Create in me a new and clean heart so that I am unafraid of your knowing anything going on in my heart. By the power of your Spirit, stir my spirit to desire your character and long for your presence in my life. I want to live dedicated to your glory and serving your Kingdom. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

    Wisdom:
    Whatever you do, do your work [fn]heartily, as for the Lord [fn]rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward [fn]of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24(NASB)
     
  25. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 24, 2016

    Devotional:

    the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil [fn]has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.1 John 3:8(NASB)

    Two simple truths: 1) The person who continues to live a life caught up in sin is of the devil. 2) The Son of God came to destroy all that the devil stands for. So, I guess the issue isn't as complex as we sometimes make it, which leads me to a final thought: Who are we going to side with in this heavenly war?

    Prayer:
    Almighty and victorious King of the Ages, you are the only rightful ruler of my heart. I pledge my allegiance to you. Please help me as I seek to lay aside my struggles with sin and empower me to live for you in unwavering loyalty. In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and thatHe is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6(NASB)
     
  26. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 25, 2016

    Devotional:

    Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O LORD, [fn]forevermore.Psalm 93:5(NASB)

    So many of the material things we pursue are temporary. Their usefulness lasts only a matter of months or at most a few short years. Even our lives, and the lives of those we love, are short. But God's character, his defining quality ("Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!"), and his demands for our holiness are forever. So as we build our lives, let's build on a secure foundation — the will of God and a commitment to share in his holiness.

    Prayer:
    Holy God, I thank you for making me holy and forgiving my sin by your grace. Fill me with your Spirit and bring forth the Spirit's fruit in my life so that it reflects your grace and your character. Give me a hunger to know your will and to seek your truth and an ability to understand and apply it to my life. I want to build my life with you as its center and its goal. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    O taste and see that the LORD isgood: blessed is the man thattrusteth in him. Psalm 34:8(NASB)
     
  27. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 26, 2016

    Devotional:

    And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.1 John 2:17(NASB)

    So much of what we pursue is fleeting. Once we acquire it, we have to try to preserve it because we know it will soon be gone. God has promised us that just as he is eternal and will live forever, so also are those who pursue a relationship with him and are committed to do his will. So let's sit down and look at how we spend our time, our money, and our efforts and ask if what we are pursuing is really something that is worth having. Then let's ask one more important question: "Even if it is worth having, is it going to last long enough to make a difference?"

    Prayer:
    Eternal Father, please give me the courage to be honest about what I am pursuing with my life. I want it to count for your cause. I want to make a difference for good. Some of that desire, I confess, is self-serving. However, dear Father, I truly do want to have a life that impacts others for good and that brings you honor. I don't want to waste my time chasing after things that won't last and don't matter. Please give me the spiritual wisdom to follow your will and find your life rather than chasing the shadow values of my culture. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [fn] the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34(NASB)
     
  28. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 27,2016

    Devotional:

    Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.1 Peter 2:12 (NASB)

    How do we win over to the Gospel of Christ those who are hostile toward us? While we need skilled defenders and expositors of biblical truth, the way most of us will win others is by the way we live and by the way we treat them. No matter how much criticism and harsh treatment we may receive, our deeds must remain Christ-like. To do less is to rob others of a chance to see the living Christ in action.

    Prayer:
    Holy and righteous Father, please forgive me for not being more aware of my influence on others, especially those who do not know Christ. Please fill me with your Spirit and strengthen me so that I can stand up under the criticism and scrutiny that sometimes comes my way. Help my life to impact others so that they may see the truth of what I believe and the hope by which I live. In Jesus' name. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25 (NASB)
     
  29. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    February 29, 2016

    Devotional:

    Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power.’Psalm21:13(NASB)

    What is our role in the grand scheme of things? In Psalm 21, the Spirit emphasizes our importance as God's "cheerleaders." We ask God to reveal himself in glory. We urge God to make his strength known to all people. We marvel in amazement at his great deeds. We praise God for all the incredible things he has done for us.

    Prayer:
    Dear Father in heaven, exalt yourself and your name above all things. I rededicate myself to daily praise and thanksgiving for all that you have done, all that you are doing, and all that you will do in the future. To you, the only true God, the Alpha and Omega, I offer my heartfelt praise and my songs of joy. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and [fn]heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:3(NASB)
     
  30. baddison

    baddison natural for good

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    March 1, 2016
    Devotional:


    After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying“Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22(NASB)

    Do you know a new Christian? Paul and Barnabas remind us that it is difficult becoming a Christian; there are hard times for new Christians! So let's make sure we don't just share the Gospel with them. Let's also stand by them, check on them, strengthen them, and encourage them.

    Prayer:
    Loving Father, please be with the new Christians in our church. Use me to be a source of encouragement to them and strength for them. May my life always be a positive influence on them and other new Christians as well. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


    Wisdom:
    “Blessed are the [fn]gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5(NASB)
     

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